Part of the SAC-2003
Severus Snape tried not to look up from the table when the owls began to flood into the great hall. Oh how he wanted to see Black’s face when the cretin received the ‘special gift’ that a secret admirer had sent to him. A bloody partridge in a pear tree. He had twelve days of pranks planned. Every day the git would get a gift from his secret admirer and it would drive him balmier and balmier as he tried to figure out who his true love was. And after the twelfth gift Sev planned on letting the whole school know that the person that Black had been gloating over, because he knew Black would gloat over his admirer, was none other than a slimy Slytherin, party to be left unnamed of course. A male Slytherin at that.
Wouldn’t that be a kick in the arse for the self proclaimed Cassanova of Gryffindor. Courted and wooed by a male Slytherin. Sev couldn’t wait!
Sirius shook his head while his mates laughed their asses off. "No note, nothing to give me a clue who it’s from..." he muttered, studying the gift from all angles before looking around the Great Hall, trying to spot someone watching him - of course, many people were, but that was because of the bloody tree and bird on the table in front of him.
"Looks like someone wants you, Padfoot," James snickered, elbowing Sirius in the ribs before going back to his meal.
"Maybe its from McGonagall," Remus chimed in.
"Or Dumbledore!" Peter laughed.
"Maybe it’s from Lily," Sirius retorted, glaring at his fellow Marauders and smirking when James’ face went white. "This is going to take some thiking, boys, and perhaps a bit of sneaking as well."
"Prat," mumbled James.
"That I am, and damn proud of it," Sirius laughed, looking at his anonymous gift once again and nodding as he thought.
"Awh isn’t it cute, ickle Siri got a bird in a bush," Lucius snickered as the Slytherin contingent walked by the Gryffindor table. "You do know you’re supposed to cook the partridge before you eat it, right?
When Sirius made to lunge at him Lucius backed away and tutted disdainfully. "Really Sirius, is that any way to treat your future brother-in-law?" he continued. "Oh, haven’t you heard yet? I’m to marry Narcissa next October. Won’t we be one big, happy family?"
And with that Lucius and the Slytherins swept from the hall, Sev and the others loudly extending their condolences to their friend at having to be related to a Gryffindor, even by marriage.
Day one, a rousing success, Sev thought to himself, a truly wicked smirk spreading across his features. Tomorrow the turtledoves in a truly hideous and overly ornate cage. Flashy, tacky, and ever so much like Black himself.
"I really want to know who thinks enough of you to send you five gold rings, Padfoot," James murmured, snatching the box out of Sirius’ hands and holding the rings up to the light. "It’s a bit odd, isn’t it? Five days of gifts and no word as to who it is."
"If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was you trying to get back at me for sending Evans that love note with your name on it."
Peter snickered at the reminder and reached for the rings. "Someone with galleons then..."
Remus shook his head. "Leaves me out."
"Leaves a lot of people out," Sirius mused, looking around the Great Hall. "James, I may have to borrow your cloak tonight."
"And do some midnight investigations? Not without us, mate, we have a vested interested in finding out who’s sweet on you, after all think of all the blackmail... err, information we could gather with the four of us," James finished with a snigger.
Across the hall Severus rather studiously looked in any direction but the Gryffindor table although all eyes of the rest of the student body seemed to slide in that direction. It had become something of a spectator sport of late, watching Black, Potter, Lupin and Pettigrew, well watching Black and watching the others react to Black’s reaction.
Five days down, seven to go... this was really most amusing, and Severus couldn’t believe he was actually enjoying giving Black of all people presents, but there it was... and he was beginning to think that this prank of his was about to backfire tremendously.
Determined to track down the mysterious gift giver before bloody condors started delivering the presents - and how the hell would someone get milkmaids and cows into the Great Hall without people noticing - Sirius crept down the empty corridor, checking the map every so often to make sure Filch wasn’t around.
He’d managed to talk his way out of having the others accompany him, if only because they all didn’t fit under James’ cloak any longer. He’d ruled out Hufflepuff - they couldn’t keep a secret if their lives depended on it, and no one in his own house could avoid crowing about it for this long, so that left Ravenclaw and - shite - Slytherin.
Severus chuckled as he finished the last enchantment on the seven lords a leaping. He’d bought ten muggle male dolls from a Diagon Alley shop specializing in muggle toys and had bespelled them to quite literally leap. In fact, they even came with buildings to leap over. Of course he’d had to change them out of their silly red and blue costumes with capes into proper lordly outfits but...
Putting them in a box and setting a charm to activate them the minute the box opened, Sev quickly cast a shrinking spell on it so that it would be small enough for the owl to carry and then slipped out of Slytherin in order to send the parcel by way of owl.
He couldn’t wait to see that prat’s face at breakfast!
Having had no luck with Ravenclaw, Sirius had wandered toward Slytherin when the sound of footsteps in the darkness ahead of him had him slinking back into the shadows. Snape... Now what was Snivillus up to this time of night?
Intrigued in spite of himself, Sirius dropped in behind the Slytherin, trailing him through the halls and to the owlry.
Severus stopped suddenly and his head whipped around to look behind him. He could have sworn he’d heard footsteps.... "Peeves, if that’s you please go bother a Gryffindor if you would, I’ve no time for you!" the Slytherin stated calmly before once again heading off to the owlery, humming that ever so wonderful muggle Christmas song under his breath.
Seven days down, five days left. The thought had his stomach turning flip flops, and not in a good way. He’d almost... miss this. This whole being kind to someone on Christmas, even if it had started as a practical joke.
"Peace on Earth... peace between us and them, wouldn’t it be nice?" he whispered, suddenly feeling rather melancholy. "What a shame I stopped believing in the inherent goodness of man and wizardkind right around the time I stopped believing in Father Christmas. Fairy tales and fantasies, the whole lot of it."
Unable to resist, Sirius slipped the cloak off and stuffed it under his robe. "Having fantasies in the owlery, Snape? About who - or what may I ask."
Severus jumped a foot off the ground and spun, his wand already out and pointing straight between Black’s eyes, a hex on half formed on his tongue. When he at last caught his breath and his heart rate had returned to normal Severus exploded.
"You stupid bloody PRAT! Are you purposefully trying to get yourself killed... oh, no wait, that was me you tried to murder with your stupid sodding prank, you’d never intentionally put yours or anyone other than a Slytherin’s life in danger, would you?" the raven haired youth snarled with all the venom of his house’s symbol.
Sirius rolled his eyes and leaned back against the wall. "I wasn’t trying to kill you, Snape, and I’ve done my time for that particular lark." He sighed and grew serious for a moment as he remembered the dark days after the ill-fated prank and how hard he’d had to work to earn the others trust again. "I was just curious as to what it was you were sending out in the dead of night. If Filch catches you, he’ll dock Slytherin points."
"Well he hasn’t found me yet and I’ve been doing this for the past five years. Now hush or he will catch us!" Severus hissed as he unobtrusively tucked the present in the pocket of his robe so Black didn’t see it, grateful for the silencing charm he’d placed on the swans cage so that he wouldn’t have to explain the honking to Black.
Darting his eyes from the door to Black, Severus prayed that the loud-mouthed buffoon hadn’t tipped of Filch or his damned cat as detention would put paid to his remaining Christmas pranks, not to mention what his house head would do to him!
"Whatever you wish, Master Snape," Sirius snorted. "So, what’s in the package?" he asked, making a grab for the parcel in Snape’s hands.
"None of your bloody business!" Severus squawked, slapping at Black’s hands with his wand and causing sparks to shoot out under the owlery door... which was followed by a faint feline yowl. "Oh bollocks, that’s done it! I’ve hit Norris. Thanks a lot, Black, now we’re both going to get detention, unless you have a brilliant idea on how to avoid Filch?"
"My fault?" Sirius exclaimed, staring at Snape in disbelief. "You’re the one who tried to singe my fingers off!" He glowered at the other boy, contemplating his escape but somehow feeling guilty at the thought of leaving Snape there - damned holiday cheer. "C’mon, let’s get out of here before she gets back."
"And just how would you recommend we sneak out of here without getting caught?" Severus replied. "And I wouldn’t have singed your fingers if you hadn’t grabbed at me."
Ignoring that leap of logic, Sirius walked over to the far wall, and, after glowering back at Snape, pressed a brick, causing a section to open. "This is how."
"What the... how did you... where did that come from?" Severus gasped as he allowed himself to be led into the secret passage.
"I’ll tell you if you tell me what’s in that package," Sirius grinned wickedly, pulling the door shut behind them and whispering ‘lumos’ so his wand lit up.
"Blackmail, Gryffindork?" Severus replied with a quirk of an eyebrow. "How positively Slytherin of you. However I’m afraid I must decline your offer. Sorry, the reward isn’t enough to merit the information I have."
"And insults like that will get your arse booted back out to where Filch can find it," Sirius countered.
"Ahh but then you’d be exposed too because I would tell him about the secret corridor and with enough detail that he’d believe me and when I would mention your name specifically," Severus trailed off without an ounce of remorse, a wicked smile playing over his features. "Are you willing to risk is?"
Sirius smirked. "As if you could find the way to open the door without my help. I’m not afraid of you or your little games, Snape."
"Oh really?" Severus quirked an eyebrow. "Then allow me to up the stakes." And with that he had the Gryffindor pressed against the wall and his mouth over Black’s before Sirius could shout ‘Godric’.
Though part of his mind was stuck on the idea that he was kissing - or being kissed by - the greasy git, the rest was surprised by the fact that Snape was a decent kisser - more than decent in fact! Sirius fisted his hands in the other boy’s robes and held him in to the kiss so that when it broke, they were both panting harshly. "Consider them upped," he murmured.
"Hrmm, Gryffindors really do put bravery above all else, even common sense," Severus muttered, licking his lips to catch the last, lingering taste that was Sirius Black. "So are you going to show me how to get out of this mouldering old secret passage way or are we going to stay here until spring?"
"Might be interesting to see if you could get out on your own..." Sirius mused, leaning against he wall.
"Chances are I could, I am a Slytherin after all," Severus replied, unphased. "But then again, if I die in here could you live with that on your do-gooding conscious?" he continued with a wicked grin.
"Spare me the theatrics, Snape,’ Sirius sighed, beginning to stroll down the dusty corridor."
"I was trying to see what it would feel like to be a Gryffindor, did I get the tone and pitch right?" Severus snickered as he followed behind Sirius, admiring the view as unobtrusively as he could. And it was a rather spectacular view at that. Quidditch had done wonders for Black; though Severus was loathe admitting it even in the confines of his own mind.
Sirius ignored the jibe and continued down the corridor debating pulling on James’ cloak and leaving Snape here to rot for a day or two.
"So, out of curiosity Sirius," Snape continued. "Why did you kiss me back?"
Sirius looked back over his shoulder. "Because I wanted to see just what this was," he grinned, holding up the parcel Snape had been trying to owl.
Severus gasped and turned, if possible, an even paler shade of white in the half darkness of a corridor lit by lumos spells. "Black if you do, I swear, I shall hex you into your dotage," he threatened.
"Must be something quite important if you’re this interested in getting it back..."
"What part of private and personal doesn’t that tiny little Gryffindor brain want to wrap around?" Severus snarled, stalking forward quite quickly and crowding Black up against the wall. "Or perhaps only brute physicality will work with someone of your diminished intellect," the Slytherin continued to hiss.
"But then again, by all means, open it. I shall, of course, have to inform Lucius that his fiancée’s brother responded rather heartily to my kiss when he was cornered and, in fact, prolonged it until we were both ready to pass out from exhaustion. I would assume he would feel compelled to share that with Narcissa who would share it with your mother and Bellatrix and..." Severus trailed off with faint menace.
Sirius snorted out a laugh. "My family hates me already, Snape; dear old mum hexed me off the family tree when I left home last summer. Do tell them, it might send her into a fit that would land her in St. Mungo’s." He smirked and leaned in to kiss Snape, wanting to turn the tables.
Startled, Severus backed up a pace or two, only to have Black follow after him until it was he who was pressed up against the wall, helplessly responding to the heated mouth claiming his. Bollocks, Sev thought, how did he do that?
"Now then, what were you saying about responding heartily to kisses?" Sirius asked, once he and Snape could speak again. He looked down at the parcel in his hand, then tossed it back to the other boy. "There you go."
"What… why?" Severus stammered, not quite able to meet Sirius’s gaze. Sighing and knowing he was being totally and completely un-Slytherin the raven-haired boy tossed the box back. "You might as well keep it. It’s for you, anyhow," he admitted gruffly, sure he was about to be pounded into the brick work and left as nothing more than a messy smear in an abandoned corridor only to come back as the Slytherin version of Moaning Myrtle or something.
Sirius glanced at the box again, and smiled. "I know, but I’d rather get it tomorrow morning; adds to the mystery."
"You, you know?" Sev gulped, staring confusedly at the Gryffindor. "But how?"
"I didn’t," Sirius chuckled, handing the box back. "Until now."
Sev’s eyes narrowed and then a laugh was forced out of him. "Very Slytherin, Black. Who knows, there may be hope for you yet!"
Sirius shook his head sadly. "Now now, Snape. No cause to be rude; I thought we had a truce of sorts here."
"I was actually paying you a compliment, you git!" Sev laughed. "Leave it to a Gryffindork to take the admiration of stealth as an insult. But for what it’s worth… it stopped being a prank about five presents ago. I just thought you might like to know that."
Sirius arched his eyebrows, studying Snape closely, gauging the truth of his words. "Why?" he finally asked.
"I honestly don’t know. Maybe I finally got what this blasted muggle holiday was really all about… making someone else smile and burying the wand for at least the space of the season. We may be enemies by nature of our houses and I may not necessarily trust you, but I can at least attempt to forgive and forget, no matter how painful it is. Maybe I’m just growing up at last. Who knows," Severus finally said after thinking about it good, long and hard.
"I… suppose I can understand that," Sirius said at last. "Come on, Snape, we need to get back before they bring out the dogs – or Mrs. Norris." He grinned at the last.
"Or even the werewolves?" Severus asked mildly, no hint of censure in his voice. "After all it wouldn’t do to have your friends catch you with me after all, they might think you need a one way portkey to St. Mungo’s."
"As if Lucius and Narcissa would think anything else of you for being seen with me," Sirius answered, giving a wry smile.
"Ah, but they were in on the initial prank idea so they think this is still a prank," Severus smiled. "And I’m quite sure I could convince them I was stringing you along… so, what are we saying here, Black?" he asked suddenly, wanting to dispel with the games once and for all.
"Give peace a chance?" Sirius answered, quoting a muggle song he’d head several times before.
"Peace… between a Gryffindor and a Slytherin. Do you think that’s even possible?" Severus wondered aloud.
"As possible as anything in this world," Sirius answered. "You never know until you try, right?"
"This isn’t just another of your pranks to get me killed or something, is it?" Severus had to ask, an eyebrow raising in question.
Sirius rolled his eyes. "If that had been the case, I’d have left you to get caught by Filch."
"Considering our past track record can you blame me for asking? So, pax it is… for Yule only or into the new year and beyond?"
"For the rest of the year at least, I’d say. Let the new year take us where it may."
"Fair enough, Black. So, shall we get out of this dank corridor before we both catch pneumonia and end up in the hospital wing for Christmas day?" Severus agreed at last. "Oh, and Black? Happy Christmas."
Sirius turned and started down the tunnel again, certain that Snape was following him. When he got to a doorway, he paused, nodding toward it. "You stop, Snape, and Happy Christmas to you."
Severus looked at the doorway and then at Black and back again. Whirling suddenly he pressed Sirius into the wall yet again and once more took the Gryffindor’s mouth hungrily. When they were both breathless and panting he stumbled back and out the door but not before he could get in one last parting shot. "You know, you really do have a nice arse… even though it tends to be covered in red and gold. Pleasant dreams, Black." And then he was gone.
Sirius shook his head at the darkened doorway. "And to all a good night."
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